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Fast Food Facts
Have you given it much thought on what is in that humongous hamburger you are eating, plus the extra large fries and medium soft drink to boot? If you have not, it may surprise you what's in it.

Did you know that a Whopper with Cheese, medium fries, and medium soft drink totals a whopping (no pun intended) 1440 calories, 69 grams of fat, and 2269 milligrams of sodium?

Considering that we need about only 1600 calories per day for women and 2300 calories for men, that meal alone will provide 63% to 90% of our daily requirement. That is not all - it also provides 43% of the calories from fat and exceeds the daily requirement.

The American Heart Association recommends calories from fat be less than 30% of total calories daily. The combination meal also exceeds the recommended intake of 2000 milligram of sodium per day. So next time you are wondering whether you should order the Extra Value Meal, think again.

Let's take a look at a meal at another favourite restaurant -- a 3-piece dinner Kentucky Fried Chicken. Three pieces of chicken (I have used a wing, a thigh and a drumstick in this case) with mashed potatoes & gravy, plus coleslaw adds up to 780 calories, 42.5 grams of fat and 1830 milligrams of sodium. This meal serves up 49% of its calories from fat!

Eating out at fast food restaurants requires some planning.
  • Don't "super-size" it unless you are sharing.
  • You can save some calories by cutting out the cheese, having smaller fries, or adding a salad instead of dessert to fill you up.
  • It is also a matter of letting the restaurants know that you like to see better choices on their menu.
  • Many of the fasts food chains have started to serve lower fat choices such as grilled chicken sandwich, garden salads with reduced fat dressings, and holding the mayonnaise/sauce at customers' request. Tell them how much you appreciate that!
Keep a copy of your favourite fast food restaurant nutritional profile handy so that you can make informed decisions the next time you are there.

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